Archive for February, 2009

Screw it, Let’s do it

February 15, 2009 Leave a comment
Screw it, Lets do it

Screw it, Let's do it

screw it, let’s do it” by Richard Branson

I came to know about this book from a fav list on a friend’s blog. The title, “let’s do it” part, caught my attention right away and there I go searching it on the web. Found a scribd copy of the book. Downloaded it in the afternoon and could not put it down, it was done by evening. Admittingly the first book ever which I finished from start to end and in such a short time. Apart from the only few other books I ever read full (strt – end). That was more of a disclaimer that I have not been an avid reader, but am observing changes in my reading habits lately. Becoming more n more of a hungry reader, though mostly for technology and entrepreneurism related content.

Now about the book –  the ‘Dr. Yes’ / ‘Mavericks in paradise’ – Richard Branson.

A dyslexic in childhood, ran a popular student magazine, a go getter, a hard worker, a calculated risk taker at most times, a lot lucky at times, ran one of the biggest music company – Virgin music, runs one of the largest airlines – Virgin, crossed the Pacific, Atlantic and world in host air balloons, saving fellow countrymen from being gulf war victims on his own life risk, HAVE FUN ALL THE TIME.

How many live like him? Only a handful I guess.

Rather then talking more and more about it, I will just cite a few paras from the book and let you decide if you want to give it a full read.

On fun, change and moving on.

As soon as something stops being fun, I think
it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be
unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is
not a good way to live.

On people looking to secret keys to success:

I always tell them the same thing. I have no
secret. There are no rules to follow in business.
I just work hard and, as I always have done,
believe I can do it. Most of all, though, I try to
have fun.

On patience and action:

Each time a chance came, we grabbed it.

On people who hate their jobs

If you do still have to work for a boss at a job
you don’t like, as almost everyone does at some
point, don’t moan about it. Have a positive out –
look on life and just get on with it. Work hard
and earn your pay. Enjoy the people you come
into contact with through your job. And if you
are still unhappy, make it instead your goal to
divide your private life from your work life.
Have fun in your own time, you will feel happier
and you’ll enjoy your life and your job more.

On being bold:

One of the things I try to do at Virgin is
make people think about themselves and see
themselves more positively. I firmly believe that
anything is possible. I tell them, ‘Believe in
yourself. You can do it.’
I also say, ‘Be bold but don’t gamble.’

On taking risks and about chasing dreams:

You can take care
and try to avoid the risks, but you can’t protect
yourself all the time. I am sure that luck playas
very large part. It’s easy to give up when things
are hard but I believe we have to keep chasing
our dreams and our goals, as these exciting
people did. And once we decided to do
something, we should never look back, never
regret it.

On challenging yourself.

If you challenge yourself, you will grow.
Your life will change. Your outlook will be
positive. It’s not always easy to reach your goal
but that’s no reason to stop. Never say die. Say
yourself ‘I can do it. I’ll keep on trying until I

On go-getters:

‘IF YOU WANT MILK, don’t sit on a stool in the
middle of the field in the hope that the cow will
back up you.’ This old saying could have been
one of y mother’s quotes. She would have added,
‘Go on, Ricky. Don’t just sit around. Catch the

On keeping your trust alive in people:

We doubled our profits but Virgin shares
started to slip and, for the firs time in my life, I
was depressed. Then there was huge stock-
market crash. Shares dropped fast. It wasn’t my
fault, but I felt that I was letting down all the
people who had bought Virgin shares. Many
were friends and family as well as our staff. But
many were like the couple who had given me
their lifesavings. I made up my mind. I would
buy all the shares back – at the price everyone
had paid for them. I didn’t have to pay that
much, but I didn’t want to let people down. I
personally raised the £182 million needed, but it
was worth it to keep my good name and my
The day that Virgin became a private
company again was like landing safely after a
record attempt in a powerboat or a balloon. I felt
nothing but relief. Once again, I was the captain
of my ship and master of my fate.
I believe in myself. I believe in the hands
that work, in the brains that think, and in the
hearts that love.

On balance between work, family and the importance of time

Here we
spend time together as a family. In fact, I am so
aware of how precious time with them is, I ration
myself to only fifteen minutes of business a day
when we’re together. I don’t use modern
gadgets like email or mobile phones, but in
Africa I did learn to use a satellite phone to keep
in touch with the office. Many bosses, who
spend all day in their office, are baffled. They
ask, ‘How can you do it all in just fifteen
I say, ‘It’s easy. Make every second
count.’ That is true in both my business and
personal life.

On unabated thinking

Even today, even when I am relaxing, I
never stop thinking. y brain is working all the
time when I am awake, churning out ideas.
Because virgin is a worldwide company, I find I
need to be awake much of the time. One of the
things I am very good at is catnapping, catching
an hour or two of sleep at a time. Of all the skills
I have learned, that one is vital for me.

On regrets and guilts:

It’s hard to lose out in a business deal, but
harder still to suffer from guilt. We all do things
we wish we hadn’t. Sometimes, they seem like
big mistakes, but later, when they seem like big
mistakes, But later when you look back, they
turn out to be small. Regret, which leads to a
sense of guilt, can give you sleepless nights. But
I believe the past is the past. You can’t change it.
So, even if sometimes you get things wrong,
regrets are wasted and you should move on.

Respect people

I have learned always to respect talent. Even
if someone is hired to do one thing, if they have
good ideas, or can handle something else, just
let them do it. This why I walk around, asking
people’s advice in street, on a plane or on a
train. It’s true what they say – hat the man in
the street often has ore common sense than
many big bosses.

Being polite:

some Japanese Businessmen. They were very
polite to a young man in sweater and jeans who
had no money. They taught me how important it
was to always keep eyes and ears open and to be
polite. They say that you never know who might
hear or see you. People talk. Gossip has a habit
of getting back to those you gossip about.

Do good, do no harm, make a difference and change the world, even if a little bit:

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, I
watched the thousands of refugees flooding over
the border on the television………[snapped for brevity]

…….if I could get them some blankets. The
desert was very hot during the day and very cold
at night. She said blankets could be rigged up to
give shade during the day and at night people
could roll up in them to keep warm.
‘A few very young children have already
‘How many blankets do you need?’ I asked.
She said they needed 100,000. ‘We’ve got
only two or three days before hundreds start to
die. It’s urgent, Richard.’
Virgin airline staff got to work, phoning
around. In two day one of our jumbo jets was on
its way to Jordan with 40,000 blankets, tons
of rice and medical supplies. We returned with
British people who had been stranded in

Lastly the most inspiring thought:

A journey of a thousand miles starts with that
first step. If you look ahead to the end, and all
the weary miles between, with all the dangers
you might face, you might never take that first
step. And whatever it is you want to achieve in
life, if you don’t make the effort. You won’t
reach your goal. So take the first step. There
will be many challenges. You might get
knocked back – but in the end, you will make it.
Good Luck!
Richard Branson

Hope you liked the review and by now you are all set to read the stuff.


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